Instead of giving Nokia billions of dollars, Microsoft should hire Lady Gaga. Both Nokia and Microsoft could use her marketing skills.
I’II describes the Lady Gaga angle in a minute, but first I’II explains why she is needed.
I’ve made it clear that the adoption of Windows Phone 7 (WP7) by Nokia is a strategic blunder. But, thinking about it, it’s better than what the company has been doing: banking on Symbian.
The fact that Nokia is phasing out Symbian is a step in the right direction. I’ve had numerous Symbian phones, and their structure is so convoluted that I hardly used any of the features other than the dialer. I have never liked Symbian. Every so often, I try to think of ways to express my hostility, and it always comes back to organization problems. I have to jump through hoops, hit endless confirmation buttons, and go from here to there just to change a ring tone or turn on vibrate.
Yes, sometimes the function is on the top menu. But what top menu? I can take an Apple iPhone or an Android device and pretty much have its operation down cold in a minute or two. I don’t have a Windows Phone, but I’ve played with them. It’s much better than Symbian from what I can tell. So at least, that is good. To make things more interesting, Nokia is supposedly soaking Microsoft for billions of dollars, according to Nokia CEO Stephen
Elop, who spoke this week at the Mobile World Conference.
Billions of dollars for what? Is it marketing money? IS it for developer bribes? Is it a relocation fee? Or is it a payoff for choosing the platform? The logical purpose for the payout is that it’s payoff. Microsoft hasn’t even seeded many of these phones to the media like it used to do with other products, so it’s not showing any signs of marketing’s aggression, to say the least. I don’t know that the company has spent anything on marketing, except on those ads that show other Smartphone as hypnotic and compelling, while the Windows phone isn’t.
So why suddenly payout billions to the Nokia coffers? Shareholders would like to know. I’m guessing that this money was the reason Nokia took the deal with Microsoft rather than going with Android. Neither Google nor Apple should be too concerned with WP7, because Microsoft cannot develop its products at the breakneck speed of Apple and especially Google, which is up to version 3 of the Android OS already.
I hate to keep beating the same drum, but there is zero buzz surrounding the WP7 phone. The buzz variable used to be considered important. What changed? Nothing, that’s what, I don’t think that it can generate a buzz this late either.
Well, there is something they can do: hire Lady Gaga.
The rock and roll star and performance artist Lady Gaga emerged out of nowhere in the last five years to become a dominant force in marketing and music. According to 60 minutes, which profiled her, she is slated to make $100 million this year alone. She admits that she is a student of fame and uses her marketing skills to get attention.
Microsoft could do worse than give her the billions it is giving to Nokia. Of course, this will never happen because one meeting with Microsoft and she’d run away, screaming.
And that’s assuming Microsoft could ever understand why they need to hire her as a consultant and listen to what she tells them. Understanding why Microsoft would never hire and listen to Lady Gaga would reveal everything’s that is wrong with the company. First of all, the company doesn’t listen to anybody. This is obvious by the fact that they created WP7.
So here we have Microsoft, with its late to the party WP7, joining forces with Nokia, a company that took forever to realize that its bet on Symbian was a loser. Neither company seems to understand that it is indeed all about the apps and who has the most. We have officially entered the app era where it’s commonplace to say “There’s an app for that!”
These two companies just don’t seem to be able to understand this. But OK, we’ll see what happens with this partnership. In the meantime, I’d get a meeting with Lady Gaga and see what she thinks.